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Dual SIM Phones FAQ

What is a dual SIM phone?

A dual SIM phone is one which can hold two separate SIM cards. Dual SIM mobile phones began appearing in the early 2000's, the first being the Benefon Twin in 2000.

Why would I want two SIM cards?

So you can have two phone numbers in one phone! Not everyone needs this of course, however it can be very useful.

If you run a separate mobile number for work then you can handle both work and personal calls and messages from one device.

Those that travel or call abroad frequently may also benefit from specialised tariffs on a separate SIM card. Not having to swap the card every time you want to take advantage of your deal is a great convenience.

Who manufactures dual SIM phones?

Most major manufacturers now develop some dual SIM devices, although it wasn't always this way. Telecommunications companies put pressure on popular manufacturers not to develop them, as it offered users the opportunity to use other providers.

For some time it was the case that only lesser known manufacturers were making dual SIM devices, although now the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony have some dual SIM devices in their ranges.

Why don't you have many dual SIM phones from the more popular manufacturers?

As we are based in the UK, we are limited to the stock we can receive. Unfortunately in major Western markets, the telecoms companies still pressure the phone manufacturers not to release dual SIM devices.

Often this means that they are only officially released in territories where the telecoms companies hold less power or are not established brands, such as many South American, African and Asian countries as well as some parts of Europe.

Are there different types of dual SIM?

Yes! There are 3 main types: Passive (DSS), Standby (DSDS) and Active (DSFA). Almost every dual SIM device you will see for sale at Clove is Standby (DSDS).

1) Dual SIM Passive: Can only ever receive calls and messages on one SIM at a time. The secondary SIM card is effectively 'off' until the user chooses to switch to it. This is sometimes referred to as Dual SIM Standby (DSS), not to be confused with the DSDS below.

2) Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS): The most common type of dual SIM phone available. There is still only one radio and antenna on the phone, however the processor is advanced enough to manage both SIM cards being on at once. In this case when a call comes in on one card, the other is put in standby and cannot send/receive. As soon as the call is ended, both cards are again 'on' and able to send/receive.

3) Dual SIM Full Active (DSFA): Less common and more expensive than DSDS. With these phones there are two radios and antennae in the phone - effectively two phones in one. In this case when a call comes in, the other card is still active and can also receive a call. With a DSFA phone, you would have the opportunity to see that you have a second call coming in and then choose whether to hold the first one or dismiss the second.

What types of Dual SIM phones do Clove sell?

Unless otherwise stated, we sell the DSDS (Dual-Sim Dual-Standby) type Dual SIM phones.

DSFA (Active) phones tend to be quite expensive and are often specialised for particular applications or targeted primarily at enterprise customers rather than standard consumers.

If a phone Clove stocks is DSFA it will be explained in the specification and product description, otherwise assume all Dual SIM phones we have for sale are DSDS.

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